How to Sleep With

Lynn Kilpatrick

An Older Man
Plaid shirts coordinate with most pants. Not striped. A bra should be practical and announce the nature of your sexuality. Do not braid your hair. Socks should be of a neutral, bland color. Shun hose or nylons. Remember the heavy scent of smoke in his hair. No pumps. Remember that mini? Lace your shoes. There are curtains in the closet. Forget.

A Younger Man
There is something the doctor said. Breathe in. Underwear is for those times you are speechless. A piece of lint below the eye. Or, an arc of fingernail. The moon. A plastic cup half-full of ice. Let the skin be fabric. Peel and peel. Breathe out. The doctor said ice.

A Shorter Man
Lake the color of ice. Zipper. If the sky recedes, two days of snow. If cloudy, proceed. Over the shoulder of the next man, he is glimpsed. Be practical. Be neutral. Lying down, smoke. Observe his shoes.

A Taller Man
Borrow laces and ice and breath. The color of smoke. Borrow lipstick and pants and plaid. Pumps. Lying down. There is a sink beside the curtains. Things recede. The moon half-full of ice. Below the eye, an arc. There is something.

A Thinner Man
Do not braid long hair. Lie down. The color of lakes and receding sky. An arc of scent. The fingernail moon. A necklace of smoke. Borrow half-fabric, half-skin. Do not forget.

A Fatter Man
Zipper. If skin recedes, forget. Borrow shoes and church. Forget smoke, arc, the moon. Forget ice. Lie down. There is a piece of lint beneath the skin. Be fabric. Forget to breathe. Remember a bland, neutral color. Something.

A Woman
Lipstick. Pumps. A bed. A speechless color. A closet scent, of fabric and skin and bra. Breathe long hair and unzipped forgetting. Borrow the half-full eye. Sexuality: bland, plaid, receding. Remember lakes, the shoulders, breathing. Lie down, forgetting the fingernail, the arc, the something, the smoky moon.